Ohio Takes Giant Steps to Legally Recognize Blockchain Data

Ohio is the 5th largest financial services market in the country. It has of recent signed a bill to make it easy to use blockchain technology in transactions – but they still haven’t figured out how to put the bill into action yet.

At a press conference on blockchain technology on August 23rd 2018, the Speaker of the Ohio House Ryan Smith discussed the interest of the General Assembly in understanding what blockchain really means and how it can drive the economic and workforce development in the region. The conference also went ahead to look at the potential of blockchain technology to increase the efficiency of the government and to strengthen cybersecurity measures. Joining the Speaker were members of the House Leadership and the Majority Caucus.

The conference didn’t propose any specific legislation, but everyone agreed with Smith on the premise that the technology would have application in a wide range of sectors. He also agreed that by working with the local universities closely, the students who have interest in the technology can hone their skills on blockchain technology before they graduate. Ultimately, Smith sees Ohio as the perfect location for companies working with technology.

He said:

“Because this is so new and this is just beginning to take shape, we can position Ohio out front.”

On Friday, Ohio governor John Kasich signed a bill which sets the legal framework for adoption of blockchain in the state, making it one of the first states in the country to give the nod for use of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) in various sectors ranging from healthcare to financial services.

This isn’t the first time Ohio is in the news for blockchain related issues. In May this year, the senator of Ohio Matt Dolan came up with another bill SB300 intended to clarify the legal status of this technology within the state. The bill failed to advance, though portions of its language became part of the clauses of another bill, SB220 which touched on cybersecurity which is not a law in this state.

SB300 would have defined the blockchain technology and also smart contracts. It would also have defined the ownership of information and decided whether the electronic signatures secured through blockchain were valid signatures. Fortunately, 2 of the amendments were incorporated into the SB220 and the rest were shut down.

Ohio isn’t the only state that is trying hard to recognize the data stored and transacted on blockchain technology, Arizona has also passed a bill that recognizes this data, while lawmakers in California have also been working on a similar process since February.

Some states such as Nebraska and Florida have postponed their bills indefinitely.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *